Dries Van Noten and His Flowers

WATCH

When Dries Van Noten was looking to create the floral prints for his Fall 2019 line, he didn’t have to go far for inspiration. In fact, he didn’t even make it past his outer wall: the prolific Belgian fashion designer simply strolled into his sprawling 55-acre Antwerpian garden with a pair of shears, a camera, and a couple of different colored backdrops (plus a couple assistants, of course).

Van Noten wanted his florals to be real, to be marred, to be from a garden that was nearing the end of its season. “For me, the flowers couldn’t be romantic. I didn’t want to have sweet flowers. End of the season you have flowers with mildew, blackspot. You saw all the flowers with imperfections, but it gives the flowers a reality,” he told the New York Times in an interview. “The last ‘hot poker’ of the season, printed now on a dress…that was something I really liked as a message.”

And that message was beautiful. Using the imperfect flowers helped him “to create a kind of strange beauty with associations, connotations of words, ideas - something that just pushes our aesthetics a bit forward again.”

Pushing aesthetics is something he’s known for. Ever since he began his line in 1986, the designer has long been known for his patterns and prints, from the floral to the psychedelic, as well as for his refusal to create anything that isn’t ready-to-wear. "I'm a little naive but I don't like the idea of showing things that you don't sell in a store", Van Noten famously said in an interview.